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Transition into fall with fruit acids (AHAs)

AHA fruit acids

Fall is a time of transition. Sun, heat, wind, sweat, chlorine, and saltwater can have taken a toll on the skin throughout the last months. It’s time to correct any summer damage that has occurred and prepare skin for Winter.

Naturally, the skin renews itself approximately every 30 days, which means the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, sheds dead cells replacing them with new ones. This skin repair process, known as epidermal turnover, slows down as we age, meaning it may take the skin longer to produce new cells to replace the older ones. Exfoliation helps getting rid of these dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin more quickly.

AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) are a type of organic acid that can be used as exfoliants. They work by dissolving the top layer of the skin to reveal the new skin underneath, fading dark spots, improving skin texture and reducing visible signs of aging, making pores appear smaller and lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The most common AHAs in skincare are:

- Glycolic acid is naturally derived from sugar cane and has the smallest molecules of all the AHAs which makes it easier to penetrate deeper into the skin and helps stimulate fibroblasts in the dermis to produce increased amount of collagen.

- Tartaric Acid is present in unripe grapes. This natural acid has become a common ingredient in skincare due to its astringent properties. By breaking down the outer layers of the skin, tartaric acid helps heal damaged skin. It also moisturizes the skin and stimulates the metabolism.

- Citric Acid, found naturally in citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange, is the mildest of AHAs mentioned here. Due to its antioxidant properties, it protects the skin against environmental damages.

- Malic Acid is naturally occurring in apples and is known for its skin-brightening properties.

AHAs offer a gentle alternative to other exfoliation methods (brush, scrubs or face cloths) that could be more abrasive. However, there are some precautions to take when adding such products to your skincare routine:

- Avoid exfoliating sunburnt or damaged skin

- For sensitive skin or skin conditions, make sure you choose the mildest exfoliant and try it on a small patch of the skin before application to the whole face.

- Exfoliate before shaving or any type of hair removal.

- Avoid exfoliating before sun exposure. Night time is always the best time.

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